I cannot decide between the two. Three kids (5, 7 & 9). Which would give them a better education? Easier w 3 kids? We do have a good library closeby (helps w book basket). Sonlight seems so deep/rich - especially with the discussion questions/material, but is it too much? Which one will give them a better Bible study? Im worried about the early years of the family cycle being too mature for younger ages – not age-appropriate. Any thoughts/suggestions? I’m ao torn. Thank you!
I have used a little bit of both Sonlight and MFW. I’m sure you have looked at samples of both but to add my two cents: Sonlight is a LOT of reading aloud. I like reading aloud as much as anyone, but that is all you do. And you read more than one book at a time, so it may get hard to follow the storyline on each one. The book selections are great and there are discussion questions which help also. The Bible feels tacked on to me. It does not correspond to the subject matter, which is ok in some time periods. But, for example, I tried using their world history (starting with the beginning of time) with my then 7th grader. He didn’t like it because the Bible portion was not Genesis. (It was something from the New Testament if I remember correctly.) The history itself did not start with creation. He questioned how it could be a Christian program if it didn’t start with creation. And I agreed. That being said, I used Core A with my then 7 year old and he really liked it. But we basically did just the history, read-alouds and some readers. I’ve tried other Cores over the years, most recently Core D, and have returned them.
MFW on the other hand, is very Biblically based. I used one of their younger levels, first grade I believe, which was very gentle and sweet. Some people say it is not rigorous enough in those young grades but I don’t feel rigor is needed at those ages. Their programs have a very strong Biblical foundation, not only in the Bible portion but in all the subjects. They also include more hands-on activities, student worksheets/notebook pages, music, art, more Charlotte Mason type stuff. I think it would be easier to combine your kids with MFW if that is something you’d like to do in the future. They have programs for K, 1st, 2nd-3rd combined, 3rd-8th combined, then high school. You can always ask on their message board the best placement for your kids. Sonlight cores can be combined too, since they cover a range of ages, but they don’t have that big age spread able to work together.
Another program you might want to look at if you haven’t already is Heart of Dakota. All their subjects are topically tied together and the Bible runs through it all. I really like it and have used it the most of any boxed program. Otherwise, I have also just pieced together my own books. They have a message board where you can ask questions as well. Their program has an emphasis on building skills and helping students to work independently as they get older. It’s a little harder to combine in that program but not impossible.
They all have pros and cons. You just need to decide which is the best fit for YOUR family. Hope that helps.
Thank you so much for this!! This is exactly what I needed!